Jesus cryptically reveals He is the Son of Almighty Father and that His crucifixion will lead many to believe. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of the Fear of the Lord from the Holy Spirit so he can always dread being separated from God by his sin and by building the Virtue of Obedience so he can recognize and always seek to do the Almighty Father’s Will.
5th Week of Lent – Tuesday – Jn 8:21-30
During the Feast of the Tabernacles, a seven-day Jewish festival in Jerusalem which commemorated the fall harvest and God’s provisioning of Israel during the Exodus, Jesus cryptically reveals the true meaning of the two central religious rituals of the Feast which are prophecies of His Divinity: He is the “living water” (Water Libation Ritual), and the “light of the world” (Light Ritual). Despite multiple failed attempts by the Jewish leaders to arrest and discredit Him, Jesus refuses to back down, and mysteriously proclaims He has been sent by the Father. Cryptically speaking of His coming Passion (“I go away”), Jesus warns the Jewish leadership they will die in their sin; this refers to both bodily death and the eternal spiritual death that forever separates the evil from God.
Jesus explains how souls become separated from God. Referring to the allegorical vertical dimension of holiness, He confirms those in the depths of sin are from “below”, and “belong” to the world, and those obedient to God are from “above”, and do not belong to the world. At the core of damning sin, is not believing Jesus’ assertion of His divinity when He says, “I AM”, the exact words God used to reveal Himself to Moses in the Burning Bush (Ex 3:14); for their lack of belief, Jesus has “much to judge”, a cryptic reference to the reality of the coming Judgment of Jesus each man will face after physical death (CCC 668-682, 1021-1022).
Attempting to trap Jesus in blasphemy, the Jewish leadership continues to prod Jesus to reveal His identity. Rather than attempt to convince the inconvincible, Jesus reveals He will be “lifted up”, a cryptic reference to His coming Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension, which will offer the irrefutable proof of His divinity. Jesus confirms when He is “lifted up” on the Cross, He will be glorified, God’s Divine Mercy will be made manifest, and many who believe will be saved; even before the Passion, many hear Jesus’ prophecy and begin to believe.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be awed by Jesus’ revelation which stunned and confused the Jews: He reveals He is God by cryptically saying, “I AM”, multiple times, the exact words spoken by God to Moses some 1300 years earlier; at the same time, He reveals He is the Son of the Father, a new and mysterious revelation of the Trinity; He reveals He is also the Son of Man, the long-awaited Messiah; He asserts future Knowledge of the Judgment and condemnation of some of those present.
Dread being separated from God by sin
Realize: While many today avoid or deny the hard truth Jesus preaches, those, including Catholics, who obstinately cling to mortal sin and fail to repent in the Sacrament of Penance will be damned.
Believe: Reflect upon Mortal and Venial Sin (CCC 1849-1876) and your own unavoidable Judgment (CCC 405, 408, 1861, 1020-1022).
Pray: Holy Spirit, help me have a deep fear of the fires of Hell and give me the Gift of the Fear of the Lord so I dread being separated from You by my sins, and immediately repent when I sin and quickly reconcile with You in the Sacrament of Penance.
Be absolutely obedient to the Father’s Will
Realize: Men are called to imitate Jesus, the Son of God who perfectly did the Will of the Father.
Believe: Reflect upon the need To do the Will of the Father (CCC 2822-2827,1691-1698).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Obedience (a part of Justice) so I recognize and always obediently carry out Your Holy Will in my daily life.